China Arrests Social Media User Over Galwan Clash Post
By: Sashwata Saha
Chinese law enforcement agencies have arrested an individual for “spreading rumours online” concerning the June 15 border clash with India and alleging that China suffered casualties due to “the poor quality of military vehicles”.
A story published by China Military Online, an official English language news website affiliated to the Ministry of Defence, reported on Thursday, “A netizen surnamed Zhou was arrested by the police per the law because he spread the rumours online by saying that the poor quality of military vehicles supplied by the Dongfeng Off-road Vehicle Co., Ltd. has caused the death of Chinese soldiers during the China-India border clash”.
The report further added that on August 3, “after learning via the Internet” of posts put up on social networking app WeChat by the person identified only as Zhou, alleging corruption within the agency, the Dongfeng Company (WeChat’s parent company) “immediately reported to the local police and established a special working group to investigate and verify the case.”
On August 4, Zhou was arrested by the native police and he “confessed to his crime of rumour-mongering, showed remorse, and wrote a sincere apology letter”, the report concluded.
The query of casualties within the June 15 conflict has been a delicate one for the Chinese authorities, with some feedback on Weibo, the Twitter-like social media website, distinguishing India’s public acknowledgement of the sacrifice of its troopers, and China’s secrecy.
Earlier this year in June, a representative of the People’s Liberation Army told the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post that Beijing was “particular” about army casualties and that all numbers needed to be accepted by President Xi Jinping, the head of the Central Military Commission, before publication”. The SCMP ran an editorial on Chinese military aggression in protest.
Twenty Indian troopers died within the June 15 conflict, marking it to be the worst violence at the border since 1967. China has not revealed its casualties.
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